Your Gym

Queenstown. My new favorite city in the Southern Hemisphere. Just…wow. The small town is situated in a lake-side valley surrounded by mountains on all sides, with a few main streets filled with restaurants, bars, shops and tourist attractions.

The action sports capitol of the world, Queenstown is full of everything but kiwis…what seems the vast majority of people are from somewhere else, mostly on “working holiday” for a few months or a year, which more often turns into three years or more.

More on Queenstown, the surrounding areas and my adventures there under the soon-to-be launched “Travel Notes” section of my website.

After two weeks into my journey, fitness has been consistently average. For those unfamiliar, I use the “You Are Your Own Gym” fitness program, using bodyweight strength training exercises in place of a gym or other programs that require weights or other equipment (for obvious reasons). For anyone interested, I highly recommend this program (I’m going to call it Your Gym from here out).

Having completed 30 weeks since starting Your Gym, I started week one of the next 10-week cycle while I was in Auckland. Because I’ve had pretty nice accommodations in most places so far, I’ve been able to do my workouts where I’m staying for the most part. There have been a few exceptions where I’ve had to find creative places to exercise.

In Auckland I found a nice public park to work on push/pull exercises. I used a tree branch for pull-ups which actually added a unique dynamic to the exercise. This was a particularly long branch with quite a bit of give up and down. So on the contraction or “pull” stroke, the branch is giving under my weight; then on the extension, or the negative, the branch would be recoiling back up and pulling away from me. This felt somewhat awkward at first and took a few sets to adjust to, but forced me to do more controlled, deliberate repetitions. I also used a park bench for one-handed push ups with hands elevated and a statue for let-me-ups.

In Queenstown I managed to get out for a morning workout last Sunday in the village green, a little square with terraced grassy areas and a creek running through the center. Here I used a raised terrace to do one-legged squats, as well as a platform-like creekside boulder to do one-legged Romanian deadlifts.

A big part of the fitness element is obviously nutrition, which has probably been the biggest challenge so far – but I’m going to save that topic for my next fitness post. I also plan to write about planning workouts into your day while traveling.

How do you stay fit and healthy while you’re traveling? Any tips or tricks you’d like to share?.

10 Replies to “Your Gym”

  1. Sounds like a great program, keep it up! While I prefer to use equipment when working out at ‘home’ (ie kettlebells, barbells, medicine balls), you’re dead on that there is so much you can do on the road without any equipment. I think a jumprope is the best small/lightweight equipment you can take, but besides tha the plan is usually high-intensity, minimal-equipment workouts. An example would be 10 rounds for time of 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 pushups, and 10 situps. Sounds like you’re having a great trip so far.

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  2. What a good idea, Chris. You’re looking pretty fit. As for me, (to answer your question) when I travel I don’t worry about it too much. I figure walking is good enough.

    I love your posts and I’m glad you’re having such good experiences. The river boarding was amazing.

    Miss you.

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  3. I think the best thing is to make sure you get a good run/walk in while your traveling. 1.) It’s a great way to cope with culture shock and 2.) it’s a perfect way to explore and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

    Also, when I was abroad I got some advice from this website. It builds off the same concepts as the Your Gym training. Really good stuff.

    http://lifehacker.com/5839197/how-to-get-a-full-body-workout-with-nothing-but-your-bodyardio

    -Christopher

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  4. I like these shots and glad to see you’re working out. The riverboarding must have been a workout too?

    When I’m traveling I make sure to always bring a pair of shoes I can run and walk in. I try to get out and explore the city. I take the stairs. But most often I hit the hotel gym for a stationary bike and/or weight workout depending on how much time I have. I find it pretty challenging to squeeze in workouts on business trips, so when I miss a day I don’t kill myself over it.

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  5. Christopher, I bought “You Are Your Own Gym” from your website, as you know. I have been using it since our week in Vietnam and I can feel a difference already. I like feeling strong and I enjoy being able to squeeze in a quick workout even when my day is jam-packed with work and school. I won’t ever give up my hiking, running, mountain bike habits, but I highly recommend this program in addition to the fun, go-outside-and-play workouts that I also enjoy.

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